If you’re an athlete, outdoors enthusiast or clumsy and prone to injuries, you’ve probably heard of RICE. It’s something that most of your doctors know, and what they have commonly told you to do: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
Sprained ankle? RICE it.
Torn rotator cuff? RICE it.
What to do with your rice cooker? Rice it.
Ok, joking on the last one. But in all seriousness, there is now a big revolution in the way we think about injury, inflammation, and what should we really do?
Introducing MEAT: Movement, Exercise, Analgesia (pain relief), Treatment (alternating hot and cold, acupuncture, etc.).
What’s the big change? Well if you look at the details of those acronyms, they’re almost opposite.
What was Rest is now Movement.
What was Compression and Elevation (so sitting laid up somewhere) is now Exercise.
These are some common recommendations that those of us in the alternative medicine field have known of and have been using for a long time. But now it is nice to know that my hesitance to fall in line with RICE recommendations is now more scientifically proven and that MEAT really is the way to go (sorry vegetarians, I didn’t make it up).
And the last important details (or disclaimers, whatever you want to call it):
-A sprained ankle may not just be a sprained ankle! There could be ligament or tendon tears, or a break in one of the many small ankle bones, so get it checked out by a healthcare professional.
-Don’t push yourself to recover so quickly that you end up hurting yourself further. Yes, movement is beneficial after an injury, but that means some gentle walking or yoga-like activity, not a half-marathon the day after.
I do offer a lot of support and treatments for acute injuries in my office, and also work closely with acupuncturists, massage therapists and chiropractors, so if you have any questions about this, please let me know!
Hoping you recovery swiftly and fully,
Further reading on the research and clinical findings of MEAT- check out this website.